Deb Ward has served for more than 25 years in a variety of roles
University of Missouri Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Latha Ramchand announced today that Deb Ward, the vice provost for MU Libraries and University librarian, will retire on May 31, 2024. Ward’s more than 25-year career has spanned key roles, culminating in her appointment as interim and then permanent vice provost for MU Libraries and University librarian.
Before accepting the position of vice provost, Ward served as the director of the J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library. During her tenure, Ward played a pivotal role in advancing the integration of electronic information delivery into health care, introducing clinical librarian services, and promoting the use of evidence-based information in healthcare delivery.
As the leader of MU Libraries, Ward navigated challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring uninterrupted library services while implementing safety protocols and managing a shutdown. Additionally, Ward spearheaded strategic space planning initiatives for Ellis Library, serving as the project director for an NEH challenge grant aimed at upgrading the West Stacks for Ellis Library to create a permanent location for distinctive collections.
One of Ward’s enduring legacies is her unwavering commitment to tailoring library services to meet the evolving needs of students and faculty throughout her years at MU.
“It has been an honor to serve the MU community and contribute to the growth and evolution of our libraries,” Ward said. “I am grateful for the opportunities and support I’ve received throughout my career. As I step into retirement, I look forward to witnessing the continued success and innovation of MU Libraries under new leadership.”
The university will commence a national search for a new vice provost for Libraries, with the desired start date of June 1, 2024. A number of constituent groups will be contacted for input and feedback on potential search committee members.